Posted by psgels on 24 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni


Some reviews are easier to write than others. With Higurashi, it’s going to be difficult, though, simply because of the huge contrast between the first and the second season. The fact also remains that this is one of these series that’s better than the sum of its parts. First, let me say that if you were interested in the concept of Higurashi, just to see “killer lolis” and cute girls, killing each other, then you will be disappointed. Sure, this is a disturbing series, but Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is so much more than a bunch of random massacres.

The first season is basically one incredibly well-developed mystery-series with lots and I mean lots of horror. Throughout six arcs, you see the different characters, as they discover more and more of the complex, multi-layered plot that forms the foundation of this series, while countless false tracks and red herrings are put on the screen, in order to confuse the viewer. You’ll never know who to trust at this point, and the same goes for the characters. There may be a few annoying moments here and there, including some pacing-issues, but overall it’s an intense and diverse thriller that keeps you hungry for more amidst the brutality.

And then the second season comes, and it’s completely different. The first season went so fast that it often didn’t leave any time for quiet moments and character-development; it sometimes went too fast that it nearly tripped, and then the second season comes and fixes this. The pacing continues at a very slow pace, but because of this, there is enough time to flesh out the different characters, to explain everything that need to be said about the story, and to build up for an incredibly solid finale. The characters actually start to realize that their bloodstained hands were a huge mistake, and they try to escape the horror. There’s also an incredibly huge emphasis on friendship and trust.

Obviously, the second season is less exciting to watch, but instead, the first season is less heart-warming. The second season is quite slow, while the first season thunders through its storyline to get it finished in time. Obviously, when you look at the individual elements, things feel strange, and for most people, it’s going to be hard to get used to the completely new road that the second season went into.

But boy, if you start looking at it from a distance, the entire package becomes so much better. In terms of storytelling, the story is closed off perfectly, even though there still is a third season on the way. It knows exactly how to build up well, and the storytelling for especially the second season has been flawless.

All in all, Higurashi is inconsistent, but it’s one heck of a special series. The cast of characters and the setting is definitely memorable, and there are more than enough different moments that make you care about them. Just one piece of advice: when watching episode 17, try not to eat or drink anything. You’ll understand when you watch it.

3 Responses

  1. anne says:

    I loved the series and never had a hard time getting into the 2nd season. Even with it’s slowness, it still had some shockingly gruesome and horrible moments. I guess I can see why people wouldn’t like it because it’s nothing like the first. But to me the strength of the show lies within the characters. If you love the characters you want to know the whys behind their actions. That is where the 2nd season really shines. Overall, it was a great show. I think the end was a bit too comical at times but I have no real complaints. It’s amazing storytelling and everything is so complete. The Higurashi team really redeemeded themselves with the 2nd season in terms of story telling.

  2. gsilver says:

    I recently saw this, and I didn’t like the second season nearly as much as the first. Too much ‘checklist’-mode, too much of Rika’s dialog felt off to me, too slow, too over-the-top in a lot of ways (not that the first season wasn’t, just in different and harder-to-accept ways).

    I also didn’t feel terribly attached to the characters, which is probably why our opinions differ so much on the second season. If I were enthralled by the character development (and yes, there is a lot of good stuff), the other issues wouldn’t overshadow it.

    Purely looking at the first season, it is very incomplete, yet the second season still doesn’t complement it nearly as well as it should.

    I loved the Rei OAV, though. That Hanyuu is tricky, ain’t she?

  3. Gerdano says:

    Many might dissagree with me but they kept babbling on about friendship and trust, in the end it became annoying. In the middle of the second season it kept repeating on about the (SPOOOOOOIIIIIILLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRR)
    child welfare saying no and stuff, which sucked, other than that part of the second season it was great, especially the way they tell u why all the acts were commited. I really liked how much of the different story arcs could, atleast a bit, relate to eachother and….. KEICHII FOREVAH. Lol just had to.

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:28 AM)
    @Aidan: I just YouTubed that game and it looks fun and cooky. Kinda reminds me of Futurama I gotta say, and that’s a plus. It’s not really a bullet hell as those are by nature a scrolling 2D shooter with very face ‘safe spots’ on screen.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:25 AM)
    @Aidan: it was really convenient, I played Fate like a console game on TV and it was great. I think that version specifically had it since it’s a weird PSP/PC hybrid that has all the pros.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:02 AM)
    @Bam, It blew my mind to find that VN’s have controller support. I didn’t even understand why you would need it.
    It’s a bullet hell first person shooter. The comedy isn’t really that great but the gameplay is solid. And the theme tune is catchy as hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR73chGfiXQ
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:00 AM)
    I always torrent a game I’m interested in first, install it and see if it runs fine, play a little see if it’s a good game, and THEN I go and get it on Steam. After getting stung by broken games I see no ethical quandary there at all. This is of course different for console releases which I only get if it’s:
    a) an exclusive.
    b) just more convenient, since all my friends multiplayer on the consoles.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:49 AM)
    @Aidan: yup like I said, save yourself the disappointment. Even Simon Templeman who did an amazing job voicing Kain said he won’t go back to acting for the series anymore.
    As for the latter game you mentioned- I have no clue and yet to Google it- but it sounds like a combination of three random words. Hopefully it has enough humor to back that up.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:43 AM)
    As for VNs I have no clue, but again you shouldn’t have a problem with those on W8 to begin with. Hell, the F/SN realta nua version that Aidan sent my way even had built-in controller support and never had the slightest hiccup.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:40 AM)
    I actually I kinda glad SR2 didn’t work. I haven’t been having too much fun with the games. Now however I am playing drunken robot pornography and that’s a blast.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:38 AM)
    Yep, but for a paid steam release you would think this shit would be ironed out. But then again…
    So far windows 10 hasn’t given me any issues and later down the line whatever issues are there are going to get ironed out. I just took it when it’s free before they started charging who knows how much for it.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:38 AM)
    I use an XB1 controller on PC and it’s really convenient for all new releases. I run an HDMI to my LED and play games as if it’s on a console. I had the idea to replay Call of Cthulhu and that’s when it all got screwed up. I still can’t find a good fix for it. I hate gaming on a monitor and refuse to go back to it, so hopefully one of these mods would work.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:35 AM)
    @Aidan: yeah old PC game controller support still remains a drag, but like you said that’s not even your OS’s fault. This is specially bad for ports. You might as well run a ROM on a simulator that has good controller support.

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